BRUCETON MILLS, W.Va. (WBOY) — Ask yourself, how many inflatables is too many? 20? 100? Well for these three families in Preston County, 239 inflatables still doesn’t satisfy their appetite for Halloween decor. Yup, you read that right. Two hundred and thirty-nine Halloween inflatables. The most inflatables you’ve ever seen in one place, probably.
Dina Stiles is just one part of the Louden-Stiles-Liston 2022 Inflatable Halloween Town, a Halloween display of truly epic proportions that just seeks to give the people of Preston county something cool to look at during this spooky time of year.
Stiles and her daughter, Jennifer Louden, own 233 inflatables between the two of them. Stiles’ sister Lisa Liston recently got into the hobby and owns the other six, a normal amount by most metrics.
The entire display took the family 12 days to put together.
“Our husbands are very very patient because we’ll tell them, ‘nope go left, nope go right, gotta stand it up straighter,’ so they have a lot of patience when we’re telling them it has to be just right,” Stiles said. “And sometimes, you know, Halloween’s not supposed to be ‘just right,’ but, you know, our OCD kicks in and it’s gotta be kind of perfect,” she said with a laugh.
In 2014, Stiles and her daughter were invited to a Halloween-themed camping weekend, so they bought some inflatables and brought them along. Little did they know that an inflatable pirate minion would be the start of such a large and difficult-to-store collection.
“Several years we would go down and set up over a weekend,” Stiles said. “Well then we started getting obsessed with Halloween inflatables, so we started to set up in our backyard, which was two years ago. My husband got the idea, ‘Why don’t we set up the inflatables in the front yard so we can share it with the community?'”
This will be the third time the family has set up their display on their own property since 2020, but this one is the biggest yet. In just the last year, Stiles said they grew their inflatable collection from 108 to 239.
“People will just stop in the middle of the road if we’re outside and be like, ‘Hey we love your Halloween inflatables,’ and we’re like “Well thank you!’ or you hear a child say ‘I love them too!’ and that just melts your heart. If you can make one child smile, it’s well worth it,” Stiles said.
A lot of the backend planning and inflatable acquisition falls to Jennifer Louden, Dina’s daughter. According to her mother, Louden is a very competitive shopper who will always look for the best deals for an inflatable. Louden says the key to pulling off a display like this one is to check multiple stores to see if they have the same inflatable at a cheaper price, and to always blow them up beforehand to make sure they work. Most importantly though, is to always have more extension cords than you think you’ll need, and if you plan on hanging any inflatables, bring plenty of paracord.
Ultimately, Stiles says the entire display is just another way for her and her extended family to get to spend more time with each other. When they aren’t setting up hundreds of inflatables, she said they all have a love of cornhole, and try to play year-round, or spend time in the pool when it’s warm.
“Being able to spend time with the family… We are very close, and we do a lot of things together, and this has just turned into a family hobby of sorts and we just want to grow from there. We like the close-knit that we have with our family, and we just really really enjoy doing them,” Stiles said.
When asked at the end of the interview if there was anything she wanted to say to the community, Dina Stiles had this to say:
“I would say thank you. For the kind words, the smiles, the comments that people have made, that they really enjoy seeing what we have. That’s what I would say, thank you for the comments, and we’re glad to put a smile on your face.
If you want to see the inflatables for yourself (and you really should), you can find the property at 11089 N Preston Highway in Bruceton Mills, off of I-68 east. They will be on display until Nov. 1.